Donald Trump’s sister imprisoned a saintly immigrant activist and now the Trump Administration is trying to deport him, just because he’s a white collar felon convicted of 7 counts of wire fraud in mortgage scams.
From the New York Times:
Activists and ICE Face Off Over Detained Immigrant Leader
By LIZ ROBBINS JAN. 12, 2018
An escalating legal battle played out on Friday in the case of Ravi Ragbir, an immigrant rights activist whose detention on Thursday by federal immigration authorities sparked protests that led to the arrest of 18 people, including members of the New York City Council.
Mr. Ragbir, 53, the executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, had shown up for a check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Thursday morning, at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building in Lower Manhattan. When officials told him that he was going to be detained and deported, Mr. Ragbir fainted, his wife, Amy Gottlieb, said.
Does anybody ever really faint from surprise? Ladies used to faint all the time in old movies:
But I haven’t seen anybody faint from surprise in a movie in years, much less in real life. Do you keep smelling salts around for all the people fainting from surprise like, apparently, the well-stocked home did in the 19th Century?
That is when events turned chaotic.
His lawyer from New York University Immigrant Rights Clinic, Alina Das, said that as he was regaining consciousness she argued that she was still pursuing legal remedies for Mr. Ragbir. She said that Scott Mechkowski, the assistant field office director for ICE, dismissed her arguments and had officers handcuff Mr. Ragbir.
An ambulance called for Mr. Ragbir was met with angry protesters as it left the federal building. The protest extended onto Broadway and toward City Hall and council members Ydanis Rodriguez and Jumaane D. Williams were among the 18 arrested.
Jumaane D. Williams has a lengthy op-ed in the New York Daily News today explaining why Martin Luther King Day and Ravi and Colin Kaepernick are all tied together.
Ms. Gottlieb rode to Lower Manhattan Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian in the ambulance with Mr. Ragbir, she said. There, Ms. Gottlieb said, she was told to get out of the ambulance, which then left with Mr. Ragbir inside. Ms. Gottlieb learned later that it had taken him to a hospital devoid of protesters, Bellevue Hospital Center, for evaluation. From there, the New York Police Department provided an escort for federal immigration vehicles to the Holland Tunnel; unbeknown to his wife, lawyer and supporters, Mr. Ragbir was soon on a plane to Miami, where he was placed in a federal detention center.
Late Thursday night, in response to a lawsuit brought by Mr. Ragbir’s lawyers, a Federal District Court judge in Manhattan granted him a temporary stay of removal and a hearing on Jan. 29 to determine whether the agents were right to detain him.
And then, finally, we get to some mention of why this saintly activist is being deported:
Mr. Ragbir became an immigrant rights activist because of his own case. He came to the United States in 1991 from Trinidad and Tobago. He had been a lawful permanent resident when he was convicted of wire fraud in 2000. After he served his sentence, Mr. Ragbir was ordered deported in 2006 and detained by immigration officials.
In 2011, the New York field office of ICE granted him a stay of removal. Last April, he was granted an extension of that stay, but only until Jan. 19, eight days after his check-in.
Ravi was convicted in 2000 of seven counts of wire fraud in a $400,000 mortgage embezzlement from a financial institution where he worked. He appealed his conviction and got turned down hard by Third Circuit court of appeals in 2002. You can read the appellate court’s decision upholding his conviction here:
BARRY, Circuit Judge
Following a jury trial, appellant Ravidath Ragbir was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371 and six counts of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343 and 2. After an unsuccessful post-trial motion for a judgment of acquittal or for a new trial, Ragbir was sentenced to thirty months of imprisonment and three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $350,00 in restitution.
Ragbir appeals his convictions and sentence.
… An examination of the circumstances surrounding Ragbir’s confession reveals that it was voluntary. …
Ragbir intentionally processed false mortgage loan applications in furtherance of his scheme with Kosch without conducting the required background checks. …
There is sufficient evidence in the record before us to support Ragbir’s convictions. First and foremost, his July 27th and 28th statements make quite clear that he agreed with Kosch to obtain money from HFC through the use of false loans and that such money was, in fact, obtained. …
Later in that statement, Ragbir lists twenty-one different loans that he fraudulently submitted under his arrangement with Kosch. Ragbir’s statement of July 28th similarly confirms the conspiracy:
He [Kosch] is the guy that was running the whole scheme through me at my job Household Finance between December 1998 and now. He has organized the filing of 1.5 million dollars worth of fraudulent loans by using me to process the loans through Household Finance and allow others to assume false identities to apply for the loans.
… Ragbir, therefore, was particularly well-situated to perpetrate the loan fraud scheme. He willingly processed false applications referred to him by Kosch. He then knowingly filled in false information on the application forms and submitted them to underwriters without conducting the appropriate verification. Relying on his recommendations, the underwriters approved the loans. Indeed, but for his assistance, the conspiracy could not have been successful. Accordingly, the District Court correctly concluded that Ragbir violated a position of trust in a manner that significantly facilitated the conspiracy to defraud HFC.
For the foregoing reasons, we will affirm the judgment of the District Court.
So was Judge Barry in this case, POTUS’ older sister, Maryanne Trump Barry?
Yet this crook Ravi has dodged deportation for the dozen or so years since he got out of prison. (So he probably didn’t really faint from surprise after spending 12 years dodging deportation.)
But it would be utterly inhumane to send him back to Trinidad because everybody knows it’s a … oh, well, you know, actually, it looks pretty nice: